U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced $1,058,820 in U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grant funding to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV), a state-wide collaboration of public and private agencies that works to reduce domestic violence and its harmful effects on Marylanders.
"We can't just combat domestic violence. We have to end it," Senator Mikulski said. "This funding will take the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence's work on lethality assessment nationwide to turn victims into survivors. This pioneering approach to reducing domestic violence homicides protects women and families from abuse and possible death by helping local police identify a high risk situation, and quickly connecting victims to shelters, counselors and other wrap around services that remove victims from harm's way. No woman in this country should live in fear for her life or that of her kids."
"We have made real progress in increasing awareness of domestic violence, but now it is time to put more resources into developing programs that will reduce the homicide rate in domestic violence cases," said Senator Cardin. "The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence is one of our nation's leading organizations in fighting domestic violence, and I am pleased this grant will enable the Network to devise new initiatives that will reduce death rates in domestic violence cases."
The MNADV received the funds in partnership with the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center of Massachusetts (JGCC), and Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell of The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing through DOJ's Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Technical Assistance Program as the first Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative. The initiative will replicate MNADV's Lethality Assessment Program and the JGCC's Domestic Violence High Risk Team model in communities throughout the country to provide local police, hospitals, governments, and domestic violence service providers with the expertise and support they need to implement best practices, increase victim safety, and encourage offender accountability, to reduce intimate partner homicides.
As chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski has provided historic levels of funding for programs at the DOJ to help states and communities protect women, children and families from violence. In fiscal year 2013, she put $409 million in the federal checkbook for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs, which strengthened the Homicide Reduction Initiative, and included $185 million for STOP formula grants, which coordinates community response to domestic violence, and $49 million for Grants to Encourage Arrests, which teaches police and prosecutors how to support victims and ensure offender accountability.
Each year, approximately 2.3 million women nationwide and 20,000 women in Maryland are victims of domestic violence, and one in four women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetimes. Studies have shown that the support services of domestic violence programs can save women's lives and reduce re-assaults.